Based on firsthand experience
A disciplined mind can overcome any obstacle.-Henery X
The Blessings Of Fasting
2023, Henery X
When I was a full-fledged member of The Nation of Islam, one of the many things I and a select group of brothers did was fast for the first three days of every month. Now, this wasn’t a mandatory act overall, but something our spiritual advisor suggested we should do. Up to this point, my only experience with fasting was during the month of Ramadan. Though I had taken part in this global event frequently, I never knew the true meaning of the act itself. But this new fasting experience would not only show me the purpose of fasting but, just as important, would humble me in a manner as nothing else had.
At the time, I was a fairly new member and was eager to show just how much I loved the teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. The teachings in question were very instrumental in shaping me into the man I would become. Over time, I would embody these teachings. They would become my way of life.
When the brother announced it was time too fast, I thought, it’s not the month of Ramadan. So, I asked what was going on and someone quickly enlightened me. Not only were we not to consume food for three days but, we were expected to still attend mandatory workouts and work our 9 to 5 jobs as well. My first thought after this revelation was — “I’m going to die.”
Obviously, I didn’t die, well, not literally. What died, though, was my old way of thinking, which changed my way of being. Now, we come to the blessings of fasting for me.
Though we carried out the three-day fast as one, we weren’t always together. So, we could have easily broken the fast. But like I said earlier, I loved the teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and one rule was no lying, regardless of the circumstances. Even though no one questioned us about if we had broken the fast, I would have been aware if I had and I couldn’t stay in the company of those brothers hiding this secret. My desire to complete the goal was greater than the hunger pains that screamed for the tiniest amount of food. My self-discipline would transcend beyond this moment and would eventually be partially responsible for me accomplishing many goals.
In those three days, I experienced what so many people go through every day of their lives. Unlike us, after the three days, there’d be no feast for them. This moment made me think of how children were dying of starvation and from not having eaten in weeks, or maybe months. The spiritual part of me wept as I thought of their suffering that I was momentarily experiencing myself. These thoughts took my mind off of my situation, which was nothing compared to theirs. My appreciation for what I had grew greater with each passing second and it grew beyond the moment. I became more compassionate. Giving became like second nature. And this is one reason for my way of being right now. I know I’m blessed and with this being the case, I’m obligated to be a blessing.
This journey open my mind up in a manner I hadn’t expected. At first I was thinking there’s no way I’ll be able to go three days without eating, but after the fast was done, I didn’t consume any food for an hour more. Don’t get me wrong, I was hungry but, my self-discipline and gratitude had taken center stage. Though I knew I could eat what I wanted and as much of it as I wanted, I knew there we people who didn’t have the same luxury. So, I wanted to sit in their misfortune longer. And as I sat, I prayed. I pray that everyone who needed something to eat would be blessed not just today, but for all the days of their lives as well. I pray this prayer each time before I consume every meal. Being more connected to my spiritual side, I literally feel the suffering of others, so much so I cry when I see people performing acts of kindness for those less fortunate than them. Being a living example of the change I desire to see is how I’ll eventually see it, because people will emulate my actions. As I give, they’ll give, until giving becomes like second nature. All the Glory be to the Most High.
Well, there you have it, family. How fasting has blessed me with self-discipline, gratitude, and compassion.
Instead of challenging one another, we should focus on avoiding the challenges we have overcome.-Henery X
Remember. I’m not here to convince you to believe. I’m here to offer you something else to consider.-Henery X
Continue to be a lighthouse for all those who feel lost in the sea of life.-Henery X
May we never lose our desire to outdo what we’ve already done.-Henery X